The Everton Toffee Lady

toffee_lady_jig
 
What with the Second Edition of our regular Women’s Focused Page , and indeed the title of the Piece being the same as the Feature , I felt it only apt to present a small synopsis  as  to   why – in these times of Claim-Fever , and Health and Safety paranoia , we actually  advertise   for  Females to lash missiles into the crowd at Evertonians each Match Day .
 
The Everton Toffee Lady is THE oldest and original  Mascot in Football . Just digest that for a second . I’m  talking ,  WORLD , indeed Galactical Football  here , of course My Peoples . Often  , St. Domingo innovations , Oh , you know , like Having Your Own Ground – single 4 sided , then double-decker 4 sided , Programmes ,  Dug-Outs   , Under-Soil Heating .. .. Jeez  , even the Guy whom invented  Goal Nets was an Evertonian  ,  btw ;  are sadly , usually  overlooked . By-passed by the  , 19 Titles  or the We Won It 5 Times In Istanbul  thing , Firms  - No . See ??? YOUS REALLY DIDN’T WIN IT 5 TIMES IN Istanbul .    Commas , Homes !!!   Grammar , FFS .. I digress …
 
So , the Toffee Lady . The whole Longevity , Queen Amongst Calcio Iconography in the Milky Way Galaxy , thing aside , is actually a Cloak-And-Dagger story of Corporate Skullduggery ,  prior to an Uber-Corporate , some say Illuminati-alike , Hostile Takeover . And all of it happened within the Boroughs of L 4 , L 5 and L 2 . Seriously . 
 
To understand the history of Everton Football Club  to GET , Evertonians , as it were , one must go back to the 19th Century and Queen Victoria still had nigh on a quarter of a century still to rule . The catalyst for the formation of this great institution was , quite simply , us . The Fans . We came – at that time in such extraordinary numbers , relatively speaking , that at each juncture , the Founding-Fathers , were forced to take it , To The Next Level , as some term it . Firstly , the formation of the side itself . Then , local notoriety and advancement . Then , League Membership , Then the Ground becomes an issue . This following the transitory thing , Stanley Park , Priory Road , Anf**ld . Then , finally , we find Home …. The most important time-frame from the perspective of this Piece is that between our Formation , in November 1878 until our ultimate destination of Goodison Park . Indeed , just a tad beyond that point . 
 
Our story starts with the transition from St. Domingo F.C. , the name of the Methodist Church – the Sunday School aspect specifically ; from whence we took our Original Name to that of Everton Football Club , in a conscious departure from the ecclesiastical – and all the allied controversy and potential bigotry that might have entailed from it ; and the adoption of the name of the Borough . Given that St. Dom’s was located on Breckfield Road North , and our initial playing fields were Stanley Park , Priory Road and what would become Castle Grey Skull , the use of the Sandon Arms Pub as our De-Facto Administration Base – particularly once Football League Members ,  was a logical choice , in retrospect . However , with Mr. John Houlding , erstwhile Head Honcho at St. Domingo F.C. unable to resist the £ signs dancing before his eyes and decided to attempt to ” Screw His Own ” , as it were , and increased the Rent 3 fold in the wake of our debut Championship Victory  . The proximity of the Sandon  Arms to the Dairy Field as it was known then – NOT , REPEAT NOT , NOT EVER , Anf**ld , during OUR residence . Anyways , they REFUSED this utterly Gangsta-Stylee attempt to Strong-Arm them and the Blessed George Mahon , said , There’s this Piece of Land Opposite South Field where we used to play . We should buy it … The land was located on Goodison Road . 
 
Absolutely crucially to the creation and ultimate adoption by the Club of the Toffee Lady  is  both the name change and more pointedly , the administrative location shift from the Sandon to the Queens Head Public House in Village Street . Literally an Everton Mints throw from  Prince Rupert’s Tower . This aspects of 24 Carat Evertonism get even Bluer Hue when one discovers that Ma Bushell  owned , and wait for this now , .. She owns , Ye Anciente Toffee  Shope , is what she owns , My Peoples . That alone , deserves a Blue Plaque , in my humble opinion ,  particularly  as it was indeed Ancient . The original Molly – Ma Bushell set up Store in the 1730′s ; though once more , I digress . Anyways , Ma has well become acquainted with the exploits of first St. Dom’s , then Everton F.C. , and had for some time sent down Sellers with examples of her Wares which had sold well . Indeed , she had Marketed Her Own Line , as it were , inventing Everton Toffees , thus catching not only Match-Day Traffic but also Schoolboys , or anyone else whom may fancy a toffee , by way of Floating Trade . 
 
Ma did well  ,  Very well in fact , and the notoriety of her confectionery spread with almost as much alacrity as that of the Team itself . Though  with the relocation to the Queens Head ,    and more significantly , Goodison Park , and therefore away from her traditional  Heartland  in the Borough of Everton  . Ma Bushell saw her first Rival emerge , like Two-Ton Ted , The Baker’s Man , to Ma Bushell’s  Ernie .  Ma Noblett was based in Walton and reacted to the regular and considerable Per Capita influx of Sweet Eating Football Fans arriving on her Doorstep every other Saturday  , as would a Shark to a Seal literally forcing open it’s jaws to jump in . She accomodated them . Indeed , she invented a variation on Ma Bushell’s product . The Everton Toffee became the Everton Mint . Moreover , she made it in the Team’s Colours – Black and White actually , as was the Strip used by the Team at the period . 
 
Furthermore , Ma Bushell showing her Entrepeneurial Acumen and basically VHS’g Ma  Noblett’s ‘s  Mints  , by , and in a Micheal Corleone , Godfather #1 , ” Today , I settle ALL Family Business .. ” Esque- move , approaches the Club directly with a proposal that a representative of her Establishment , it was actually her Granddaughter ,  Jemima Bushell , would , each Home Game turn up and provide free , individually wrapped examples of her produce . They agreed and  She turned up in her best finery , replete with Bonnet . This was a popular addition  and was soon adopted by the Club as a regular and increasingly popular Matchday Feature . Indeed , the Toffee Lady transcended the status of her wares when becoming adopted by the Club’s Fans whom termed the Team The Toffees . It was to become as permanent a fixture at Goodison as much as the Cross-Beam Stand design . 
 
There is one aspect of the Toffee Lady that is up for conjecture . Her Attire  . Many state it is a direct descendent of Jemima’s  original outfit , obviously Everton’ed Up over the intervening years , and this may indeed have voracity . Others however state it is Welsh in flavour . Indeed not merely Walton , but County Road and adjacent to L4 4EL all along Goodison Road , the Streets spell out the names of the two Welsh Brothers whom built the properties  . The Owen Brothers .  This aspect , at least to the eyes of this Oracula seems more likely than the alternative Welshy Conspiracy Theory , that The Toffees  was actually , The Taffies , due to that same Cymru influence in the area , mentioned earlier . 
 
Ironically though  , given the Victorian Cloak-And-Dagger Story to pout Jack The Ripper to shame ,  after the Bushell Business being passed down Molly’s descendants , it was ultimately sold TO the Noblett’s , by far the bigger establishment , at that stage – mid 1890′s .    Whatever , its real origin the Toffee Lady  has undergone  further evolution over the years . With Mary Gorry  ( Pictured )_ – then Peggy Morley , becoming the regular incumbant until the Mid-ate 1950′s . As for the Sweets themselves , they themselves became the object of Corporate Takeover  as Liverpool Sweet Makers , Barker & Dobson absorbed most of the the local producers , and indeed their Wares  , though in the process made the Everton Mint – in   fairness  , a National Brand  , the popularity of which remains to this day. 
 The Toffee Lady therefore is not only  like Her Hostess , the incomparable Madame Goodison herself ,  THE ORIGINAL in World Football of her type . She is also , like her Mentor , STILL AT IT . She remains as loved and indeed as relevant this very afternoon as her produce were   whence emerging from Ye Anciente Toffee Shope . Everton Football Club is an Institution with many such great aspects and personalities . This Girl was lashing what are effectively Missiles into the Goodison Hoardes long before there were EVER EVEN THOUGHTS OF Red Devils , Gunners , Magpies , Cockerels , Villains or indeed Liver Birds . THIS was the ONLY Bird that matters . And for REAL Toffees , the only one that ever will . 
 
We , the current Generations of Stewardship , should pay homage but also bask in the glory of Our Fore-Fathers and Mothers . Our Pride is Our Being . Our Selves . It’s what , amongst a few other things , Makes Us Who We Are . This St. Dom’s thing is all abut  Passing On The Baton  . BEING the example for the next generations .  For many of us , our Everton Families and our Biological ones often over-lap , or are certainly not mutually exclusive . The Toffee Lady is as familiar around our Children and Grandchildren as are snaps of our relatives . She BELONGS . To US . 
 
We – I  in truth  began this concept , a specific page for Football , probably though not exclusively Evertonian Loving Females , with a Mission Statement of ALL THINGS TO ALL  (WO)MEN . I would suggest that having compiled this Piece , and as the Grandson of the only Grandmother I knew whom was a Season Ticket Holding Toffee for 20 plus years when I was growing up , that I am now convinced that no team in World Football has historically  consciously or otherwise  promoted either Female entrepeneurialism or  the Club’s active Partnership with and therefore positive focius upon Women  now for over a Century . She has been the Dancing , or Sobbing , OR holding a Drawing Pin <<< #SeeWhatTheyDidThere , btyw <<<??? , on the now defunct Liverpool Pink –  Football Echo . It remains the Paper’s Evertonian Icon . 
 
Once more , sooooo far ahead of the Game . 
 
I intend to do both our Corporate Logo and also our Corporate Mascot a tad more justice in a forthcoming Book Of Sermons . Until then , I hope it has been at least a smidgen enlightening . From Myself , My Family , and all at footyscene.com , I would like to express my undying love for the Lady in the Blue & White Rig Out trying to take that Kid’s eye out . Much Respect , T . 
 
Like I said ,  footyscene.com Toffee Ladies was created for you . I honestly hope you avail yourselves of its facility . You really are special . Its time you got together and proved it . 
Please , GET INVOLVED ….
 
LCAB .
 
Look After Your Peoples .
 
Peace Out .
 
#SEB

 

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5 Responses to “The Everton Toffee Lady”

  1. Ma says:

    Thankyou ! Fame at last !

  2. LCAB says:

    Haha

    You’re Welcome !!!

    • Phil Evo @phile26 says:

      What a brilliantly writted and informative artical on our famous Toffee Lady.It impossible not to feel a scence pride and history when reading this writing.The toffee lady is ours and is part or us.I remember going the game with my dad as a 5-6 yr old in the early 1970s we would go in the Enclosure close to the front hoping to catch a toffee which I did Often and it made my day day. The toffee lady is part my/our childhood and our matchday experience,she is the original mascot of an original club.I loved this artical and its little nuggerts of info I never Knew.Well done LCAB

  3. Dave says:

    Excellent piece.

    Always remember first time I seen her. It was live at first sight.
    Still a big occasion when you manage to catch a toffee.

  4. Annabelle @EvertonianCamel says:

    The Toffee Lady felt like the only other woman watching football sometimes when I was growing up. She is why I knew women had a place in football. I really enjoyed this piece; another fantastic insight into the amazing history of Everton Football Club.

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